Panini America is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a big way.
Panini, which has a licensing agreement with the Hall of Fame, has put out the Cooperstown set the past two years. To celebrate the Hall’s diamond anniversary, Panini is putting out a much more ambitious product.
The 2014 Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary baseball set is scheduled to be released on Oct. 8. This product will be radically different than previous Hall of Fame releases, with only 12 cards per box. Panini is promising two autographs and four cards numbered to 75 or less. There will be one insert each from the Elite Series, Dominator, Diamond Kings and Crusade subsets, plus two other cards. Base cards will come in three distinct versions, along with five different parallels numbered to 50 or less.
Among the inserts, I really like the look of the Hall of Fame Diamond Kings because they are so colorful. This 100-card subset will be printed on canvas stock and will showcase baseball’s greatest players. There also will be five different parallels numbered to 75 or less.
Hall of Fame Signatures will consist of cards signed by a living member; in a new wrinkle this year, there will be five parallel versions numbered to 50 or less.
Those Hall of Famers who have passed on also will be represented in this set. Hall of Fame Cut Signatures can be found (on average) one per case. Some of the key autographs collectors might find belong to Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Dizzy Dean.
Another type of card that will fall one to a case include a gem card, which will be embedded with sapphires (numbered to 15), emerald (10) or diamonds (1/1). Players will include Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Josh Gibson, Cobb and Clemente.
A third card that will appear one to a case is the Hall of Fame Crusade die-cut.
The regular Crusade insert will have six parallel versions numbered to 75 or less: red, purple, orange, gold, green and black.
Panini has done a good job with the designs the last two years, working as they must under the constraints of being unable to display team logos or nicknames due to licensing issues.
It’s an interesting way to honor the Hall’s 75th anniversary.